Tel Aviv’s First Elevator

The Passage Penske served as Tel Aviv’s first commercial center. It was designed by Yehuda Magidovich, Tel Aviv’s first city engineer, and constructed in 1925 by Mordechai (Zvi Arie) Penske, a Polish-Jewish Jew from America. Penske has an eclectic style, an eclectic style that incorporates European construction with oriental features. The passage is located at 16 Herzl Street, opposite Herzlilinblum.
The name passage refers to a covered arcade or gallery with a glass roof and symmetrical façade.

This was used exclusively by pedestrians as part of a European urban block. The glass roof covered the arcade that extended over several streets; these passages were very popular in the 19th century, thanks to advances in the use of cast iron and glass.

This three-story building has a paved courtyard and is shaped like a square. The yard was capped by a spire with an iron dome resembling a French roof, which topped an “above” Parisian elevator made of iron and mesh doors. Although the elevator is often referred to as “the first elevator in Israel,” two Tel Aviv elevators preceded it. When it was still unusual to find houses of this height in the area, a fourth floor was added, along with a restaurant called Hasharon.